Not being able to stay warm while you are trying to sleep is the worst! Sometimes, your sleeping bag just doesn't provide enough warmth- so what do you do?
Here are 7 tips to help you stay warm all night long for the upcoming colder months:
#1- Go to Bed Warm: Your clothing and sleeping bag are simply insulation to trap the heat your body produces. If you slip into your bag already feeling cold, it will take you much longer to warm up, if you do at all. Try doing a set of jumping-jacks before bed, or crawl in and do a few crunches. This also works well when you wake up at 3AM and need a little "bonus warmth."
#2- Get your Metabolism Going: ...by staying hydrated throughout the day and having a big dinner to pack in those extra calories. A midnight snack can give you a little energy boost throughout the night, but make sure to not eat in/around your sleeping area in bear country!
#3- Use a Hot Water Bottle: If your body is still struggling to produce enough heat, fill a bottle with hot water to use as an external heat source. Make sure the water bottle has a tight seal to prevent leaking, and check the temperature so that you don't burn yourself. Place the water bottle in your armpit or crotch area for maximum warming-up potential.
#4- Pack Your Sleeping Bag: Fill in any extra sleeping bag dead-space by stuffing clothing around your feet and the wider sides of the sleeping bag. This will help increase the sleeping bags R-value, and give you nice dry clothes in the morning.
#5- Wear Appropriate Layers: Wearing a hat, socks, and loose fitting layers will help increase your insulation. If your clothing is too tight it will reduce the loft, create poor circulation, and ultimately make you colder. So as a rule, make sure everything fits nice and loose!
#6- Have Adequate Ground Insulation: Sleeping pads do much more than simply providing a soft place to lay down. Each pad has a specific R-value, which tells you how well it reduces conductive heat loss. When winter camping, it is common to use a closed-cell foam pad with a Therm-a-Rest style pad on top, doubling up on the warmth.
#7- If you hear Nature Calling... Go pee. While this isn't necessarily going to change how warm you sleep, having a full bladder definitely impacts how well you sleep. If it is too cold outside, then a pee bottle is a good option as well- just make sure the lid closes tightly and the bottle is well labeled.
I'd love to hear your tips for staying warm. Leave us a comment below!